Collector: “So what is the four-leaf clover and what does it mean?”
Informant: “The four-leaf clover is a very rare thing to find, but if you find one it is said to bring good luck and safety. My grandma would always tell me a story about how the four-leaf clover would help the people of Ireland see evil spirits from a distance so they could escape and get away to a safe place where the spirits couldn’t get them.”
The following is an Irish superstition and sign of good luck. I had heard about this folklore symbol before and reached out to the informant knowing that she was of Irish descent to see if it had any significance to her. Luckily enough, the informant had a strong background in the folklore and personal experiences as a passive bearer with it from her grandmother.
This lore of a four-leaf clover is one that has been around for a long time. I am not of Irish descent and have heard many times about how lucky you are to find a clover with four leaves. Although this folklore has spread out across the globe, it is universally accepted and told as a monogenesis folklore story originating from Ireland. I personally had only heard about the four-leaf clover is a good luck charm, but the informant’s story from her grandmother opened a whole new arena of this lore for me. I would be interested to research more about the Irish spiritual nature and evil spirit lore that her grandmother passed down to her. Based on what the informant shared with me, it sounds like there may be an entirely paralleled legend from Ireland in which this clover acts as a positive motif.